George DAVIDSON

George DAVIDSON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4760), George Davidson was born at Morpeth, Northumberland, England.[1]  He gave his age as 44 years and 2 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as miner.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and grey brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military experience.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Captain A. C. Eade, at Lithgow, on 2nd November 1915.

After completing the Co-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

The Lithgow Mercury reported that ‘Geordie Davidson’ along with fellow Coo-ee ‘Ern King’, who had both joined the Coo-ees from Cullen Bullen, ‘were farewelled at a smoke concert in the Cullen Hall’ in early January 1916, and Private Davidson was ‘presented with a pipe and tobacco pouch’.[2]

Private G. Davidson was also given a send off ‘by his many friends’ at ‘the house of Mr. F. Maddy’ in Bathurst [who was listed as his next of kin on his Attestation Paper] in early January 1916, where he was ‘presented with a wristlet watch and also a pocket bible from his friends’.[3]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Cullen Bullen, Mudgee Line, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his friend, F. [Fred] Muddy [i.e. Maddy], 265 Russell Street, Bathurst, N.S.W.

The ‘Date of joining’ on the HMAT Star of England A15 embarkation roll for both Private George Davidson and Private Ernest Henry King was recorded as 31st October 1915.[4]  The Coo-ees arrived at Wallerawang and held a recruiting meeting there on 30th October 1915.  According to Mr H. T. Blacket who accompanied the Coo-ees in his motor car, seven men presented themselves to join the Coo-ees that evening.[5]  The Coo-ees had a rest day at Wallerawang on 31st October 1915, before marching on to Lithgow on 1st November 1915.  Both George Davidson and Ernest Henry King completed their medical examinations, and were attested by Captain Eade, at Lithgow on 2nd November 1915.  Captain Eade stated that ‘Private King joined the Coo-ees at Wallerawang’ in an article published in the National Advocate on 7th January 1916.  So it appears possible that George Davidson may also have been present at the recruiting meeting held at Wallerawang on the evening of 30th October 1915.[6]

On 8th March 1916 Private Davidson, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 Private Davidson was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt.

On 4th June 1916 Private Davidson left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 11th June 1916.

On 29th August 1916 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was conducting maintenance on trenches in the vicinity of Mouquet Farm, France, when Private Davidson was struck by a the blast of a high explosive shell in the left arm.

On 31st August 1916 Private Davidson was admitted to the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance with a fracture of left scapula [shoulder blade].

His movements for the next year while he recovered from his wounds are not clear on his service record.

On 27th August 1917 he was transferred to England from the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Havre, France.

He arrived at Weymouth, England, on 29th August 1917, where he marched into the No. 2 Command Depot, with classification “C1” [fit for home service only].

On 26th September 1917 Private Davidson departed England bound for Australia aboard the HMAT Borda for medical discharge, with a deformity to the left elbow.

Private Davidson arrived at Sydney on 25th November 1917.  He was discharged medically unfit on 27th December 1917.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, DAVIDSON G

[2] ‘Cullen Bullen Recruiting’, Lithgow Mercury, 7 January 1916, p. 3. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218730509

[3] ‘Personal’, National Advocate, 7 January 1916, p. 5. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158051548

[4] Australia War Memorial. ‘First World War Embarkation Rolls, George Davidson’, HMAT Star of England A15, https://oldsite.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1834299/

[5] ‘The Great Route March … Yetholme to Wallerawang’, The Farmer and Settler, 2 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116674770

[6] ‘Privates Jack Rigby and E. King’, National Advocate, 7 January 1916, p. 5. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158051490

 

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